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Process for Depositing Thin, Continuous Metal Films

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000046540D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 298K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Alessandrini, EI: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

During the initial growth of most metal films, the growth mechanism is such that the film first nucleates. As deposition continues, these nuclei grow in size to form islands. As the islands grow in size, they coalesce into a continuous film. For evaporated gold films the islands form a continuous film when the average thickness is about 7.5 nm. The thickness at which the film becomes continuous varies with the deposition conditions. Fig. 1 is a TEM micrograph of a typical gold film with an average thickness of 5.0 nm. The film shown in this figure has been evaporated onto an amorphous silicon nitride substrate. This micrograph shows the discontinuous nature almost always observed in gold films as thick as 7.5 nm. Most other metal films deposited onto ionic or covalent bonded substrates show similar structure.

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Process for Depositing Thin, Continuous Metal Films

During the initial growth of most metal films, the growth mechanism is such that the film first nucleates. As deposition continues, these nuclei grow in size to form islands. As the islands grow in size, they coalesce into a continuous film. For evaporated gold films the islands form a continuous film when the average thickness is about 7.5 nm. The thickness at which the film becomes continuous varies with the deposition conditions. Fig. 1 is a TEM micrograph of a typical gold film with an average thickness of 5.0 nm. The film shown in this figure has been evaporated onto an amorphous silicon nitride substrate. This micrograph shows the discontinuous nature almost always observed in gold films as thick as
7.5 nm. Most other metal films deposited onto ionic or covalent bonded substrates show similar structure. The thickness at which the film becomes continuous varies with the material system. A process will now be described for significantly reducing the thickness at which the deposited film becomes continuous. Using a low Fig. 2 is a TEM micrograph of a continuous 5.6 nm thick film. Dark field microscopy demonstrates that the film is polycrystalline with a grain size of 10-14 nm. The deposition conditions used to deposit the continuous film are listed below. 400 eV ion beam energy, .0139 ma/cm2 ion beam current density, .2-.3 nm gold deposition rate, 290 K substrate temperature, and 1- minute substrate etch time...